Monday, September 03, 2018

A Bus!

We're on pins and needles a little this weekend. Karen went southwest, nearly to the Vermont border, and bought a bus. I still can't believe I'm writing that. Not the sort of thing I usually write. But there it is, Karen bought a bus.

The bus is still near the Vermont border, because the dealer couldn't put temporary plates on it, for reasons too complicated to go into here, and we couldn't get to the DMV, it being the weekend, when the DMV offices are closed. So the dealer agreed to deliver it to a local mechanic using his dealer plates.

That was supposed to happen yesterday or today. The dealer called and left a message saying there was a snag. Probably something else related to the holiday weekend, but it's still left us a bit nervous. We'll feel better when the bus is at the shop, only about ten minutes from our house, getting its inspection and, with luck, an inspection sticker.

The bus is not like the ones we've been looking at. For one thing, it is not now nor has it ever been a public school bus. This has a big advantage because it means there are a lot of things that we'd have to worry about taking off the bus that, well, were never there on this one. Things like the flashing lights and the stop sign on a swing arm. Not to mention the yellow paint, because the bus is white.

And, being white, the perfect canvas for whatever creative painting Karen wants to do on it. The bus, apparently, belonged to a private academy in Vermont and was mostly used to take the students skiing. It has the right kind of tires for the task, and racks inside for the ski equipment. We're taking those out, but the need to have room to stow equipment also means this bus has fewer seats to remove.

And the seats that are staying are, according to Karen (for I have not sat in, or in fact been anywhere near, the bus yet) quite comfortable. All that's missing is shoulder belts, but I think we can manage to add those without too much trouble.

This is an exciting step for us. The bus is not only intended as our new camper, a substitute for the unwieldy and cramped trailer we've been using for a few years; it's also meant to serve as a long-term traveling home during our upcoming retirement.

Karen was very anxious to get a bus, and there were a lot of false starts. But looking at what we got (the pictures at any rate) I'm very happy that she waited. I think she got a good one.

When it finally arrives.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Freedom!

Well, we have another licensed driver in the family. That's right, William passed his road test and is now the proud holder of a New Hampshire driver's license. Yesterday he drove himself to and from work for the first time. Well, at least the first time by himself.

William and I spent more than 30 hours on the road together before he got his license, practicing on a lot of different roads and under a lot of different conditions, including the 10 hours of required night driving. He did well. There were mistakes, of course, but I felt safe with him, and because of that, I feel better about him being on the road on his own. Not perfect, of course, because I'm his father and I worry about him, but better.

William on wheels will clear up a lot of conflicts in our crazy work schedules, and keep William from having to worry about walking to a from work in the pouring rain or the blazing heat, two things we'd had more than our usual share of this summer. It's not a long walk to work, but it's up and down a steep hill, so the car will definitely make him happier.

When Winter comes, William and I will go back out together to get him some snow driving experience, and I'll feel better once again because William has a Subaru Forester, and I already know that they are good in the snow, once I make sure that he is.

My boys are growing up, and while that's a little scary and makes me feel a bit old (not that I didn't already because, well, I'm old), it's good to see them getting ready for adulthood. William will get there officially in just a couple of months.

And then it's one to go.